2023 Boat Buyers Guide: Gear


Fishing Accessories

Frabill Witness Net
Frabill Witness Net Courtesy Frabill

Frabill Witness Net

Frabill gives you the ability to net, weigh and measure your catch easily with the new Witness net. The innovative net won the Best in Category award at ICAST 2022, thanks to the integrated scale that provides a weight nearly instantly and minimizes stress on fish that are going to be released. frabill.com; $149.99

Bubba Saltwater Multi-Flex Interchangeable Fillet Knives
Bubba Saltwater Multi-Flex Interchangeable Fillet Knives Courtesy Bubba

Bubba Saltwater Multi-Flex Interchangeable Fillet Knives

Having the right tool for the job makes any task easier. Bubba’s Saltwater Multi-Flex Interchangeable fillet knives give a choice of blades, so you always have the right one. The nonslip handle provides a sure grip no matter how wet it gets, and the Flex-Change locking system lets you switch between the 9-inch serrated flex and 9-inch stiff blades quickly. bubba.com; $124.99

Cuda 18178 10.5-inch Hook Cutter
Cuda 18178 10.5-inch Hook Cutter Courtesy Cuda

Cuda 18178 10.5-Inch Hook Cutter

No one plans on getting a hook stuck in them, but having the right tool on board to handle this possibility makes it easier to deal with if it happens. The long handles on Cuda’s carbon-steel hook cutter provide plenty of leverage, easily cutting through even the toughest saltwater hooks. Have one at the ready, just in case. cudabrand.com; $39.99

Ugly Stick Ugly Tuff 150-pound Scale
Ugly Stick Ugly Tuff 150-pound Scale Courtesy Ugly Stick

Ugly Stick Ugly Tuff 150-Pound Scale

Fishing in saltwater often means catching big fish. With Ugly Stick’s new Ugly Tuff 150-pound scale, you can know exactly how big that behemoth was. The nonslip handles fold out to provide an easy way to wrangle big fish, and the stainless-steel frame can handle anything you can. Internal memory stores up to eight different weights so that you can share later. purefishing.com/ugly-stik; $79.99

Gerber Neat Freak Scissors
Gerber Neat Freak Scissors Courtesy Gerber

Gerber Neat Freak Scissors

The thin diameter and lack of memory makes braided line a popular choice with anglers, but it can be tough to cut. Gerber’s Neat Freak scissors were designed for these superlines, with the microserrated blades effortlessly slicing through the toughest braids. And you don’t have to worry about corrosion because the Salt Rx coating offers superior protection. gerbergear.com; $30.00

Apparel

Fin-Nor North Drop Sunglasses
Fin-Nor North Drop Sunglasses Courtesy Fin-Nor

Fin-Nor North Drop Sunglasses

Fin-Nor’s new sunglasses incorporate the latest innovations to improve on-the-water performance in a variety of fishing conditions. The North Drop’s lightweight frames provide all-day comfort, and the lenses have unmatched sharpness and polarization that cuts through glare, haze, and mist. The lenses also feature hydrophobic coatings to shed water and let you focus on the fish. fin-nor.com; $199.00-$269.00

Gill Meridian X Jacket and Bib
Gill Meridian X Jacket and Bib Courtesy Gill

Gill Meridian X Jacket and Bib

Sometimes a little rain must fall. But with Gill’s Meridian-X jacket and bib, it doesn’t have to ruin a day of fishing. Fully taped seams keep even windblown rain at bay, while the breathable fabric allows sweat to escape. Don’t worry about getting it dirty—the proprietary XPEL fabric finish prevents fish slime from sticking. gillfishing.com; $375.00 jacket, $325.00 bib

Simms SolarFlex Guide Cooling Hoodie
Simms SolarFlex Guide Cooling Hoodie Courtesy Simms

Simms SolarFlex Guide Cooling Hoodie

Sunny days on the water are great, but too much sun can lead to harmful burns. Protect yourself without the mess of chemical sunscreens with Simms’ SolarFlex Guide cooling hoodie. The high-tech hoodie is constructed with a synthetic fabric that helps keep you cool while offering UPF 50 sun protection. A built-in gaiter shields your face. simmsfishing.com; $119.95

AFTCO Women’s Reaper Windproof Jacket
AFTCO Women’s Reaper Windproof Jacket Courtesy AFTCO

AFTCO Women’s Reaper Windproof Jacket

Cut the chill with AFTCO’s Women’s Reaper windproof jacket. This stylish garment was a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022, thanks to the durable three-layer stretch soft-shell ripstop with an ultra-warm Hexatron fleece lining that protects from the elements while giving you the freedom of movement needed for powerful hook-sets. aftco.com; $119.00

XtraTuff Legacy NXT Boot
XtraTuff Legacy NXT Boot Courtesy XtraTuff

XtraTuff Legacy NXT Boot

Spend enough time around the water, and you’re bound to see someone wearing a pair of XtraTuff boots. XtraTuff is continuing its tradition of building some of the best seafaring footwear with the introduction of the Legacy NXT boot. The NXT improves on a design that has been around since the 1950s, with a new form-fitting last and improved sole. xtratuf.com; $175

AFTCO Ankle Deck Boot
AFTCO Ankle Deck Boot Courtesy AFTCO

AFTCO Ankle Deck Boot

Sometimes you don’t need a full-coverage boot. On those days, wear AFTCO’s ankle deck boot, and keep your feet dry and comfortable without added bulk. This Best of Category winner from ICAST 2022 features a neoprene inner liner and a Hex grip nonmarking outsole that keeps you glued to the deck as you fight fish. aftco.com; $99.00

Boating Accessories

Zeiss 8x42 Terra ED Binoculars
Zeiss 8×42 Terra ED Binoculars Courtesy Zeiss

Zeiss 8×42 Terra ED Binoculars

It’s hard to overstate the importance of a good pair of binoculars out on the water. Zeiss’ Terra ED binos are built using legendary Schott ED glass for superior light transmission so that you can see farther for longer. The lightweight fiberglass body is waterproof and nitrogen-filed, so they can stand up to the rigors of a life on the water. zeiss.com; $499

Fusion Apollo Series Marine Amplifiers
Fusion Apollo Series Marine Amplifiers Courtesy Fusion

Fusion Apollo Series Marine Amplifiers

Who doesn’t enjoy some tunes on the water every now and then? Fusion Apollo marine amplifiers give you the option for up to eight channels, so you can have clean, crisp music no matter how big your boat is. Compatible with Fusion DSP-enabled stereo, these amps are built to provide superb audio quality while maximizing battery life. garmin.com; $649.99

Bote Rackham Aero 11-foot Classic Cypress Inflatable Paddleboard
Bote Rackham Aero 11-foot Classic Cypress Inflatable Paddleboard Courtesy Bote

Bote Rackham Aero 11-foot Classic Cypress Inflatable Paddleboard

Boats can get only so skinny. Extend your angling adventure, and fun at the sandbar, with Bote’s Rackham Aero 11-foot Classic Cypress. This inflatable paddleboard can be easily stashed on board when not in use, and quickly blown up for fishing fun. The package includes everything you need to get on the water, including a leaning post that keeps your rod at the ready. boteboard.com; $1,146.65

Garmin Quatix 7 Smartwatch
Garmin Quatix 7 Smartwatch Courtesy Garmin

Garmin Quatix 7 Smartwatch

You can have fast access to all your fishing and boating data with the Garmin Quatix 7 Smartwatch. This wrist-top computer integrates with a variety of marine electronics, giving you the ability to control key MFD features, set autopilot, mark waypoints, and even control the stereo remotely. garmin.com; $699.99

Yeti Roadie 60
Yeti Roadie 60 Courtesy Yeti

Yeti Roadie 60

Hopefully your boat has an ample fish box, and you have a good time filling it. Keep your lunch and drinks cold, and free of fish slime, by storing them in a separate cooler. Yeti’s Roadie 60 is easy to transport even when full, thanks to the wheels that easily traverse even the longest dock. And despite the voluminous size, it won’t take up too much deck space. yeti.com; $500.00

Relion RB80 Lithium-Ion Battery
Relion RB80 Lithium-Ion Battery Courtesy Relion

Relion RB80 Lithium-Ion Battery

Deep-cycle lithium-ion batteries offer long-lasting power in a lightweight package. Relion’s RB80 offers plenty of juice to keep the trolling motors that keep popping up on saltwater boats’ bows while weighing half as much as comparable lead-acid batteries. The battery also offers rapid recharge times, so you can be back in action quickly using shore power or your boat’s alternator. relionbattery.com; $909.50

Safety

Mustang MIT 100 Automatic Inflatable PFD
Mustang MIT 100 Automatic Inflatable PFD Courtesy Mustang

Mustang MIT 100 Automatic Inflatable PFD

Every time you hit the water, safety should always be a priority. Mustang’s MIT 100 automatic inflatable PFD eliminates any excuse not to wear your life jacket while underway. The front-entry design is easy to put on and comfortable to wear. The MIT 100 automatically inflates when it hits the water, or it can be manually triggered if desired. mustangsurvival.com; $169.99

West Marine Kids’ Rapid Dry Life Vest
West Marine Kids’ Rapid Dry Life Vest Courtesy West Marine

West Marine Kids’ Rapid Dry Life Vest

Children should wear a PFD every time they hit the water. West Marine’s kids’ rapid-dry life vest offers a near-custom fit that provides freedom of movement while safely floating children weighing 30 to 50 pounds. The fast-drying tech in the jacket means that it won’t get waterlogged and cause chafing. westmarine.com; $59.99

ICOM M94D AIS/GPS/DSC Marine Handheld Radio
ICOM M94D AIS/GPS/DSC Marine Handheld Radio Courtesy ICOM

ICOM M94D AIS/GPS/DSC Marine Handheld Radio

Your vessel should be equipped with a hard-mounted marine radio, but it never hurts to have a backup. Plus, in the unlikely event that you have to abandon ship, ICOM’s M94D AIS/GPS/DSC marine handheld radio will give you the ability to communicate with rescuers until they are able to get you, even sharing your location. icomamerica.com; $349.99

Sionyx Nightwave Marine Navigational Camera
Sionyx Nightwave Marine Navigational Camera Courtesy Sionyx

Sionyx Nightwave Marine Navigational Camera

Navigation is more difficult at night. The Sionyx Nightwave marine navigational camera lets you operate your vessel in near total darkness, easily spotting obstacles and debris in moonless starlight. The night-vision camera mounts just about anywhere on your boat, and displays on your existing MFD or streams to a tablet. sionyx.com; $1,595

ResQLink View
ResQLink View Courtesy ACR

ResQLink View

Having the ability to send out an SOS with your exact location can literally be a lifesaver. The ResQLink View is a buoyant personal locator beacon that includes a digital display providing live status and GPS coordinates. It requires no subscription for use, so it’s always ready to go. And the rugged construction withstands whatever you throw at it. acrartex.com; $389.95

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